MARINA DEL REY, Calif.—The men’s and women’s world championships have been determined for 2006, and now comes the next generation in the second phase of the Laser Radial Worlds to thrash out Youth honors.
There are 181 competitors ages 15 to 18. About one in five are girls, and half are Americans. They will sail 12 races from Monday through Saturday on the same tricky ocean waters of Santa Monica Bay that bewildered many of their elders last week.
Last year’s winner, Blair McLay of New Zealand, cannot defend because he is now over the age limit, but four other young countrymen are here to carry on a Kiwi tradition that had produced three of the last eight Youth winners.
An American has never won, but the country has never hosted the Laser Radial Youth Worlds, so with 89 of the total entries the sheer weight of numbers could work in their favor.
The U.S. also will be represented by a five-person team backed by US Sailing, the national governing body of the sport, and Vanguard Sailboats, an official sponsor of the US Sailing Team and the regatta.
The five sailors on the US Laser Radial Youth World Team are Randy Hartranft, Bayville, N.J.; Tedd Himler, Manhasset, N.Y.; Kyle Rogachenko, Collegeville, Pa.; Ian Sutherland, Toms River, N.J., and Jerry Tullo, Staten Island, N.Y.
Coach Brett Davis of Naples, Fla., who has accompanied the sailors to California, said he expects at least one top 10 finish. Rogachenko, 18, finished eighth at last year’s Laser Radial Youth Worlds in Fortaleza, Brazil.
“We have a strong team,” said Davis, who recently observed the international Laser contenders at the 2006 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship in Weymouth, Great Britain. “I expect the competition to be challenging, compared to previous years.
“It will depend partially on the weather. If we have stronger winds, our sailors will be up there in the top five.”
For what it’s worth, last week’s men’s and women’s competition featured a full range of wind from 5 to 17 knots, though tending toward the lower numbers with bedeviling shifts across the trapezoid course.
Like last week’s women’s format, the 181 boats will be divided and rotated daily for the first three days of six races to determine the championship Gold and secondary Silver fleets for the last six races, with scores carried over from the qualifying.
Comments are closed.